Trump’s Embarrassingly Bad Legal Case in Pennsylvania

Kim Wehle on why it's no wonder his campaign kept swapping out its lawyers.

Leading The Bulwark….

Trump’s Embarrassingly Bad Legal Case in Pennsylvania

Kim Wehle: No wonder his campaign kept swapping out its lawyers.


🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

Mona Charen: Why We Should be Thankful

On today’s Bulwark podcast, Mona Charen joins Charlie Sykes to discuss why we should be thankful this Thanksgiving, how Trump’s stolen election myth will live on in the GOP, and why trust is essential for society to function.

Introducing Across the Movie Aisle!

The Bulwark is glad to welcome a new podcast to the fold. It’s called Across the Movie Aisle. Here is its description:

Three DC-based journalists (Sonny Bunch, Alyssa Rosenberg, Peter Suderman) who met each other at the movies and forged a friendship despite their ideological differences chat about what’s new at the movies each week, keeping audiences apprised of the latest controversies—and nontroversies—roiling social media.

Sonny, our culture editor, was once based in D.C. and started this podcast after meeting Rosenberg from the Washington Post and Suderman from Reason. It’s a great show, and we’re glad it lives on here at The Bulwark.

Here’s an episode you’ll be sure to enjoy:

Hillbilly Elegy Reviewed; WW84 to HBO Max

This week, Sonny Bunch (The Bulwark), Alyssa Rosenberg (The Washington Post), and Peter Suderman (Reason) ask if it’s a controversy or a nontroversy that WW84 is moving to HBO Max at no extra cost. And they review Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy while trying to suss out just why its existence has made so many critics so crotchety.

For Bulwark+ Members 🔒

Across the Movie Aisle: Sia's Casting Controversy — or Nontroversy?

On this special Bulwark+ members-only episode of Across the Movie Aisle, Sonny, Peter, and Alyssa discuss whether or not Sia’s decision to cast non-autistic actors as autistic characters in her forthcoming film should be considered a controversy or a nontroversy.

The Next Level: Dark Thanksgiving

Sarah, JVL, and Tim talk about Biden’s cabinet, what went down in Michigan, and the fragility of our system. Happy Thanksgiving?

If you’re not yet a member of Bulwark+, you can join now and get access to these podcasts, newsletters, and special livestreams.


From The Bulwark Aggregator…


🚨 OVERTIME 🚨

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Normally, this is the busiest night of the year for bars. When I was in college, I spent the first Thanksgiving away from my family because I had to work as a bouncer at my college bar. It was all hands on deck.

Our bar’s owner, Jan Mangelsdorf, bought us all small turkeys and I tried (and failed) to cook my own turkey, despite following all of the directions. The interior was still frozen. I threw out the turkey and called in to get some take out. Because of COVID-19, this is my second Thanksgiving sans family. It stinks, but is the appropriate and safe thing to do.

Many years ago, we were in Rome on Thanksgiving, and where do Americans go on Thanksgiving for a meal? The Hard Rock Cafe. We took pictures of our feast, and probably close to a decade later, were were back in Rome over the holidays. We had the same server. Whenever you’re abroad on an American holiday, just remember that the Hard Rock Cafe, despite being founded in London, is basically the closest thing you can get that isn’t an embassy or consolate.

My family loves the Hard Rock Cafe. At one point, this was a cabinet in my parents’ house:

The chain is now owned by the Seminole Indian tribe and has fallen on hard times. I went to the opening of the one in Cleveland’s Terminal Tower after school in 1998. And I went there during its last week during the 2016 GOP convention.

That’s my old colleague and pal Chris Deaton looking at the now-gone guitar on Ontario Street.

What killed the downtown Cleveland Hard Rock? A “Rocksino” in the suburbs. Ugh.

Aside from generally being together, in my family, we don’t really have any hard and fast Thanksgiving traditions. Grandparents die, people get married and move away. Such is life.

But do you know who has an awesome Thanksgiving tradition? Michael Dukakis.

The former governor and presidential candidate… has, for years, collected turkey carcasses. Seriously.

You’ve carefully stuffed, cooked, and carved the turkey. You’ve sliced up all the extra pieces, packing them in tinfoil for leftovers. And you may think you’ve used every possible aspect of that turkey.

You’d be wrong. Michael Dukakis would very much like your turkey carcass.

In his tidy Brookline kitchen, the state’s former governor and onetime Democratic presidential nominee has had a quirky but endearing tradition legendary among family and friends. He collects Thanksgiving turkey carcasses to make soup for his extended family for the year to come.

The following year, Dukakis was offered more turkey carcasses than he could process.

So, why not give the Dukakis family turkey soup recipe a try? Here it is:

“Take the carcass, stick it in the pot. Cover it with water. Quarter an onion and toss that in. Add lots of salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil. And then simmer it for three hours. Very important. If you go three and a half, even better. Let it cool. Take the bones out. Clean whatever meat is on the bones, put it back in the soup. Toss in a handful of rice. Somewhere between half a cup and a cup of rice. Add whatever vegetables you’ve got. Peas are good. Carrots are good. Heat it up again. And then enjoy.”

I emailed Dukakis a few years ago after finding a recipe for corn muffins in a cookbook, and discovering this family tradition, urging him to make a cookbook of his own.

He graciously responded, telling me that it wouldn’t feel right if he couldn’t write it without the help of his late mother, who taught him to cook.

And while there are people like Michael Dukakis who have recipes and thoughtful ways to be thrifty with your Thanksgiving foods… There are culture warriors like Ted Cruz, who is married to a vegetarian, who are being so performative about their politics it would probably make even Dukakis, who is famous for his tank photo, blush.

Replace the populist pity parties with persuasion… Writing in the Missouri Independent, friend of OVERTIME Sam Panettiere reflects on his time as a partisan operator in GOP politics, and what the GOP should focus on after Trump’s loss. If only they’d listen to him:

Politics should be about addition, not division. Persuasion and pragmatism lead to good policy, and good policy is ultimately good politics.

Subscribing to “ends justify the means” politics (but judges!), amplified by social media and cable news, has unquestionably divided our country in a time desperate for unity during a raging pandemic. We can benefit from President-elect Joe Biden’s tone and unifying approach, a sharp contrast from the last four years.  The career public servant’s desire to return America to a leadership position in the world, rather than one of isolation is also encouraging and should be given a chance to succeed.

Tim Alberta’s opus… At Politico, Tim Alberta has been on fire lately, but this dispatch from his home state of Michigan is perhaps one of the greatest items he’s ever written. It’s a detailed account of how Donald Trump lost Michigan.

The Face Eating Leopard Party strikes again. In Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger writes in USA TODAY a scathing op-ed.

Meet Janet Yellen, probably our next Treasury Secretary… If you don’t pay close attention to the politics of the CEA or the Fed, you probably only know of Janet Yellen’s name in passing. The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting profile on who is probably going to take over in January.

DENNIS! The boy mayor might ride again, The Cleveland Scene reports.

Has Matt Drudge logged off? At Tablet, Armin Rosen does a deep dive into the world of Drudge.

Selma, revisited. A WSJ reporter got ahold of her late grandfather’s reporter notepads when he covered Selma, and it’s neat to witness history, documented.

Lin Wood is off the rails. Consider the Kraken unleashed… Again, 11th Circuit style.

Ask… and you shall receive. Spice and sauce purveyor McCormick spices announced today a special new offering: Old Bay hot sauce dispensers, that you would find at a ballpark. If it weren’t unreasonable, I’d ask Santa for one for Christmas.

Down to the wire… The race in NY22 is now down to a 12 or 13 vote margin. This is going to take a while.

The COVID Corporate Cash Cow… In Arc Digital, Bonny Brooks writes:

On both sides of the Atlantic, conservative politicians style themselves as pragmatic realists to be trusted with the public purse. But at this point, you’d have to wonder if it’s only their expensive PR consultants that manage to keep convincing people of it.

As Remy raps at Reason, “they call me cumulonimbus, because you know, I make it rain.”


A study in contrasts…

A preview of our new normal… Here’s Biden’s Thanksgiving address today. Pretty nice, isn’t it?

But before we get there… Here’s Donald Trump calling into a hearing at a Gettysburg, PA hotel, where his superstar lawyer Jenna Ellis forgot to turn off her notifications, interrupting him. The audience was amused. Only the best people…


Is this bad? The NRA admits that its executives were using donor money for “personal benefit and enrichment.”

A third turkey is pardoned. Corn and Cob may have gotten their reprieve (and The White House is not owned, they insist!) but now Michael Flynn got his pardon. As Tim Miller reminds us:

Mission accomplished, Sidney Powell. Just remember, this is the first of many further and probably far more disgusting pardons to come.

You hate to see it… One America News Network was reportedly suspended and demonitized by YouTube for promoting a “phony cure” for COVID-19, Axios reports.

Well, that’s it for me for today. We’ll be back on Friday, as I’m taking Thanksgiving off. I hope you have a safe, sane, and restful holiday. Drop me a line at swift@thebulwark.com if you have thoughts or comments.

If you’re not a member of Bulwark+ yet, you can join on Black Friday (same price, sorry, we’re not Macy’s) and get the satisfaction of supporting our mission, and getting access to extra newsletters, podcasts, and livestreams.

See you Friday.

—30—